Hires & Promotions: Dentsu, Accenture, ProfitWheel, Adobe

Quick look at new hirings, promotions and people movements this week

Dentsu India Restructures Its CXM Business; Anubhav Sonthalia Gets Additional Role As CEO

Following the restructure of its creative and media businesses in India, dentsu has launched a unified Merkle-led CXM proposition in the market. The announcement brings together Data Transformation, Digital Transformation, and CX Consulting into one unit to create the most specialised CX practice in India under brand Merkle.

Part of the network’s global organisational redesign, the dentsu India CXM business will now house the agencies - Sokrati, Fractal Ink Design Studio and Merkle B2B, under one umbrella. Anubhav Sonthalia will lead dentsu CXM in India as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in addition to serving his current role as CEO, Sokrati. He will continue to report to Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO, dentsu India, and Z Shen, CEO, dentsu CXM, APAC.

Anubhav will be responsible for the integration, coordination, and implementation of dentsu CXM's overall strategy across the country. The CXM business will be aimed at building differentiated customer experiences through data, design & technology transformations, and will work with partners like Salesforce, Adobe, Google Cloud & AWS.

Speaking on the launch, Anand Bhadkamkar said, "Keeping up with our #onedentsu strategy, the new CXM business will help us move closer towards our growth journey. CXM is growing rapidly, and it is soon expected to become 35% of our overall business in India. By 2025, we project that this growing field will have a 50% contribution to our business. With this new CXM line of business, our clients will see a host of benefits as it will be a one-stop solution for all their CXM needs. I have complete faith in Anubhav’s leadership and in CXM to create numerous opportunities for clients as well as for the network.”

Commenting on his new role, Anubhav Sonthalia added, “I am looking forward to leading dentsu India CXM and to develop newer strategies to up our customer experience game. We aim to provide world-class services to our clients and prioritise data-driven experiences & personalisation of the entire end-to-end customer experience. Our key focus will be to create a holistic view for the clients, and a focused strategy for delivering personalised experiences that they demand.”


David Droga Named CEO & Creative Chairman Of Accenture Interactive

Accenture has appointed acclaimed creative icon David Droga, founder and chairman of Droga5, as Accenture Interactive’s new CEO and creative chairman, effective September 1, 2021.

Brian Whipple, who has led Accenture Interactive for the last ten years, has announced his retirement from Accenture. Under Brian’s leadership, in fiscal year 2020 (ended Aug. 31, 2020), Accenture Interactive grew to $10.6 billion in revenue and was named the world’s largest digital agency network by Ad Age for six consecutive years.

In his new global role, Droga will drive creative excellence, customer experience and business innovation — which leverages the unique capabilities of Interactive, including the power of the depth and breadth of Accenture — to accelerate results that sustain business growth. As global enterprises adapt to new customer needs, expectations and opportunities across industries, Accenture is helping set a new standard for customer connection, sales and marketing — with capabilities from brand to data and artificial intelligence, to the latest technology, to marketing operations.

“At a time when our clients are led by purpose, brand and the transformation of experience, David’s global perspective and unmatched creative track record allows us to help clients unlock business and human outcomes in unprecedented ways,” said Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture.

“I would like to thank and recognize Brian Whipple for his foundational role in building Accenture Interactive’s strong business, driving its rapid growth and for pioneering a disruptive business model that will continue redefining the industry,” said Sweet.

Droga is best known as the founder of the celebrated advertising firm Droga5. Under his influential leadership, Droga5 has been named Agency of the Year more than 25 times and was most recently named Agency of the Decade by both Adweek and AdAge. Prior to founding Droga5, Droga was the first-ever Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of the Publicis Network and held key creative leadership roles across agencies in the UK, Asia and Australia. To date, he is the most awarded creative at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the youngest person ever inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and awarded with the Cannes Lions Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lion of St. Mark. Droga will report to Sweet and join the company’s Global Management Committee.

“Accenture Interactive has rapidly become the leading digital powerhouse at the intersection of data, creativity and technology,” said Droga. “As the world seeks to build back better, Interactive will continue to play a critical role in creating 360° value for our clients. I look forward to putting further emphasis on our creative excellence, coupling it with our world-class ingenuity and proven expertise in Interactive and experiences.”

The demand for experience-led transformation continues to accelerate and is top-of-mind for CEOs as businesses reimagine the need for B-to-B transformations using B-to-C experiences amid the Covid-19 pandemic. A large majority (77%) of CEOs said they will fundamentally change how their companies interact with customers as a priority to drive business growth, Accenture Research found.

Droga5 has been part of Accenture since being acquired in 2019. Together, Droga5 and Accenture Interactive have created transformative brand experiences for many of the world’s leading brands, including Accenture, Kimberly Clark, Amazon and lululemon.

Vinod Thadani Joins As Chief Digital Growth Officer, Dentsu Media Group & CEO - iProspect

Vinod Thadani has joined as Chief Digital Growth Officer of Dentsu Media Group and CEO of iProspect. The former Chief Digital Officer, Mindshare - South Asia, had stepped down from his position early this year.

This official release on his appointment will be posted soon.

A media veteran, Thadani comes with over two decades of experience in the field. He joined Mindshare, the flagship media agency of GroupM, in May 2014. In 2018, he was promoted as Chief Digital Officer - South Asia.

Prior to moving to Mindshare South Asia, Thadani was the Chief Executive Officer of Madhouse India, a joint venture between WPP and Madhouse China, and played a crucial role in setting up India’s largest mobile advertising and marketing company.

Vivek Bhargava Exits Dentsu To Grow His SaaS Start-up ProfitWheel

Vivek Bhargava, Head, Dentsu Performance Group, has exited from the company. Vivek is moving on to grow ProfitWheel full-time, a SaaS startup that he co-founded last year, and which was hitherto operational in stealth mode. ProfitWheel is a product company that will focus on creating a customer data-led marketing intelligence platform for the new direct-to-consumer world.

Speaking about the move, Vivek Bhargava, co-founder of ProfitWheel, said, “ProfitWheel has been active in stealth mode for the last one year. Now, it was finally time to bring it to the fore and get the wheels rolling. With ProfitWheel, we are attempting to connect ad tech with mar tech to make both efficient. Our eventual goal is to make the advertising and marketing expenses a part of the balance sheet where it becomes the cost of sales rather than an expense. It’s a game-changing model for the startup ecosystem.”

Vivek began his entrepreneurial journey in 1997 when he founded Communicate 2. The company joined hands with iProspect India, a digital marketing agency, from Dentsu international in 2012 with Vivek leading the new entity – iProspect Communicate 2 – as Founder and Managing Director. The company was rebranded as iProspect India at the end of 2015 with Vivek as CEO until 2016, the year he was named the CEO of DAN Performance Group. In this role, he looked after all of Dentsu’s digital performance agencies.

Abhigyan Modi Appointed To Lead Global Engineering For Adobe Document Cloud

Abhigyan Modi has been promoted to Senior Vice President and will now lead global engineering for Adobe Document Cloud. Abhigyan will spearhead product innovation and development across Adobe Document Cloud teams worldwide, and play a strategic role in enabling the company’s focus on powering digital economies. He continues to be based in India, reporting to Adobe Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer Abhay Parasnis. Abhigyan will also continue to lead Adobe’s India site as Country Manager.

Adobe Document Cloud includes the world’s leading PDF and electronic signature solutions, and allows customers to turn manual document processes into efficient digital ones. Adobe Document Cloud allows teams to take quick action on documents, workflows and tasks across multiple screens and devices — anytime, anywhere.

“Under Abhigyan’s leadership, our talented engineering teams have been at the forefront of building world-class products,” said Abhay Parasnis, Chief Technology and Chief Product Officer, Adobe. “We’re thrilled that Abhigyan, who had started his journey with Adobe as an entry-level engineer and has shown tremendous impact,  now joins our global leadership bench to steer Adobe’s Document Cloud product vision into its next phase of innovation and growth.”

“Over two decades at Adobe, I’ve had an incredible time building great products and fantastic teams in India. As we move from a world with digital, to a digital-first world, we have an amazing opportunity to reimagine how people work with documents.  I’m excited to work with our incredible engineering teams to drive greater innovation into the future,” said Abhigyan Modi, Senior Vice President, Adobe Document Cloud & Country Manager, Adobe India.